China strips license of lawyer for Hong Kong activist

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A Chinese lawyer who represented a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist was stripped of his license amid efforts by Beijing to crush opposition to its tighter control over the territory.

Lu Siwei, who represented one of 12 Hong Kong activists who tried to flee to Taiwan, had his license revoked by the Sichuan Provincial Justice Department in a formal notice given Friday.

Tsai credits Taiwan for virus wins, notes China’s threats

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday hailed the island’s progress in containing the coronavirus pandemic and growing the economy while facing military threats from China.

In her annual New Year’s Day address, Tsai said Taiwan had effectively conquered the virus through “believing in professionalism, trusting one another and unifying as a society,” without lockdowns or serious disruptions to business and education.

Chinese vaccines are poised to fill gap

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — With rich countries snapping up supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, some parts of the world may have to rely on Chinese-developed shots to try to conquer the outbreak. The question: Will they work?

There is no outward reason to believe they won’t, but China has a history of vaccine scandals, and its drugmakers have revealed little about their final human trials and the more than 1 million emergency-use inoculations they say have been carried out inside the country already.

Taiwan commissions new coast guard ships to bolster defences

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (Reuters) - Taiwan commissioned the first of a new fleet of coastguard ships on Friday, an advanced catamaran that can be armed with missiles during war, as the island bolsters its defences in the face of what it sees as a growing threat from Beijing.

President Tsai Ing-wen has made military modernisation a priority for the Chinese-claimed island. Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control.

Buildings shake as deep, 6.7 magnitude quake hits Taiwan

TAIPEI (Reuters) -Buildings shook in Taipei on Thursday as a deep, 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit the northern part of Taiwan, though with no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake’s epicentre was just off Taiwan’s northeastern coast, at a depth of 77 km (48 miles), according to the island’s Central Weather Bureau.

The Taipei city government said the subway system was operating as normal with no reports of problems.

Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China considers its own, lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is prone to earthquakes.

China prepares large-scale rollout of COVID-19 vaccines

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Provincial governments across China are placing orders for experimental, domestically made coronavirus vaccines, though health officials have yet to say how well they work or how they may reach the country’s 1.4 billion people.

Developers are speeding up final testing, the Chinese foreign minister said Thursday during a U.N. meeting, as Britain issued approval for emergency use of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine candidate and providers scrambled to set up distribution.

China joins COVAX coronavirus vaccine alliance

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — China, which has at least four coronavirus vaccine candidates in the last stage of clinical trials, said Friday it is joining the COVID-19 vaccine alliance known as COVAX.

The country signed an agreement with Gavi, the co-leader of the alliance, on Thursday, China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Initially, China did not agree to join the alliance, missing the deadline to join in September.

'Taiwan is Taiwan': China name dispute moves from birds to climate change

TAIPEI (Reuters) - The dispute over international organisations referring to Taiwan as Chinese has moved from wild bird conservation to climate change, after a global alliance of mayors began listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its website.

China has ramped up pressure on international groups and companies, no matter how small or obscure, to refer to democratic Taiwan as being part of China, to the anger of Taiwan’s government and many of its people.

Beijing views the island as merely a wayward Chinese province.

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